Several Rio 2016 re-matches will play out at the Oslo Diamond League on Thursday, but the men’s High Jump promises to be one of the most anticipated events of the evening, as four of the headliners have cleared at least 2.40m in the course of their careers.

Also, all three medallists from the Rio Games will go against each other for the first time this season, with former World Champion and Rio Bronze medallist Bohdan Bondarenko making his Diamond League debut in 2017, and will aim to start on a bright note.

Olympic Silver medallist Mutaz Barshim tops the field and world rankings with a Season’s Best (SB) of 2.37m, and will be hoping to extend his winning streak to Oslo. Fireworks are to be expected each time this pair is engaged in a superiority battle, and things will not be any different at the Oslo Diamond League.

The man who beat them to the Olympic GOLD medal, Derek Drouin will also be in action, while the presence of Chinese showman Guowei Zhang, Great Britain’s Robbie Grabarz, and Andriy Protsenko will definitely add more spice to the competition.

Fresh from winning the 200m at the Rome Diamond League last week, multiple Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse will square off with the likes of Great Britain’s Chijindu Ujah, but in the 100m this time around.

Ujah beat Jimmy Vicaut and Cote d’Ivoire’s Ben Youssef Meite over the distance in Rome, and will renew his rivalry with the pair again at the Bislett Games.

Reigning World Champion in the women’s 200m Dafne Schippers will be hoping to get an awesome birthday gift on Thursday, by running her first sub 22 of the season. She is currently ranked 6th on the 2017 world standings with her SB of 22.29s.

Fortunately for her, the five women who have run faster will be absent in Oslo, giving the Dutch woman room to assert her dominance, and perhaps surpass her Meeting Record (MR) of 21.93s set last year.

Nevertheless, she will have to contend with Murielle Ahouré who recently clocked an impressive 10.83s in the 100m. Other actors in the women’s 200m include Jamaica’s Simone Facey, Bianca Williams of Great Britain, and Ivet Lalova-Collio.

Botswana’s Baboloki Thebe will be making his second appearance at the Diamond League in 2017 and is the fastest in the men’s 400m field, with his SB of 44.89s. That notwithstanding, he will face the highly experienced Borlee brothers – Jonathan and Kevin, two-time World Indoor Champion Pavel Maslak, and Great Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith.

Rio 2016 GOLD medallist Caster Semenya will be the woman to beat in the 800m. She will aim to continue her unbeaten run for the second consecutive season and will have her fellow African counterparts – Francine Niyonsaba, Margaret Nyairera Wambui and Eunice Sum to push her, not forgetting Melissa Bishop of Canada.

The men’s 400m Hurdles field is topped by former-Senegalese-turned-French athlete, Mamadou Kasse Hann who set a Personal Best (PB)/SB of 48.40s five days ago. Olympic Champion Kerron Clement will be counting on his experience to give him an edge, not forgetting LJ Van Zyl and Kariem Hussein.

Two-time Olympic Champion in the women’s Discus Sandra Perkovic headlines the women’s Discus event, and comes with an SB of 70.23m. She will need to throw over 71.00m to erase Galina Savinkova’s MR of 71.00m. The Cuban duo of Yaimi Perez (65.83m) and Denia Caballero (65.76m) will hope to challenge her to the title.

Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres currently tops the world standings in the men’s Discus with his PB/SB of 68.88m set in Kingston in February. He will be involved in a superiority battle with World Champion Piotr Malachowski (65.90m), Daniel Stahl (68.36m), and the Harting brothers – Robert (64.99m) and Christoph (63.47m).

The women’s Long Jump promises to be a mouthwatering encounter, seeing that Germany’s Claudia Rath tops the field with her SB of 6.86m, ahead of World and Olympic Champion Tianna Bartoletta (6.83m), Lorraine Ugen (6.78m) and Shara Proctor (6.73m).

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare will be targeting an improvement on her SB of 6.52m in order to hit the World Championships qualifying standard of 6.75m.

The top players in the women’s Pole vault, Ekaterini Stefanidi and Sandi Morris will not be in action at the Oslo Diamond League, giving room for Rio 2016 surprise Bronze medallist Eliza McCartney (4.82m) to shine.

Nevertheless, she will need to overcome the threat posed by reigning World Champion Yarisley Silva (4.75m) to achieve her aim.


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